SolidRun’s CuBox-i (starting from 45$ ONLY)

Proud of its long-term partnership with SolidRun, the GeeXboX team is announcing that support for new CuBox-i has started in our development tree. The CuBox-i is the new generation of CuBox MediaCenter. Keeping the same exiting specification than its old sister (the legacy CuBox), a 90g 5x5cm fully-connected box, the new i-series, features a tremendous Cortex-A9 i.MX6 SoC from Freescale with astonishing performances.

The i-series now comes in 4 different models, with variable network, CPU frequency, number of cores and memory size to exactly fit all of your possible needs, as presented on the table below:

Cuboxi

Remember that development has barely started but our goal is to provide you with a complete GeeXboX-powered system anytime soon. As for the original edition, if you’re interested by this new exciting board and want to sponsor GeeXboX development, don’t hesitate to pre-order yours through our affiliate program.

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Introducing SolidRun’s CuBoX Partnership (EDIT: now 90€ only !!)

cuboxToday marks the new partnership between GeeXboX and SolidRun, the company manufacturing the CuBoX hardware.

GeeXboX HTPC distribution has been supporting this platform for quite a long time and is SolidRun’s has trusted our software to reveal their hardware’s true capabilities.

Priced at 89.99€ only, this 5 x 5 x 5 cm small box makes it the best possible HTPC ever for your living room.

With only 91g and less than 3W of power, GeeXboX allows you to play any 1080p video on your CuBoX.

Through our partnership program, SolidRun’s will provide 5% of the sale as a donation to the GeeXboX team.

So if you’re looking for a tremendous piece of hardware to fit into your living-room that is 100% supported by GeeXboX, this is your chance, here and now !!

The CuBox STB features the following technical characteristics:

  • Marvell Armada 510 ARMv7 SoC running at 800 MHz, with VFPv3 and WMMX SIMD instructions support.
  • Hardware 1080p Video Decode Engine
  • OpenGL|ES 2.0 graphic engine
  • HDMI 1080p Output (with CEC function)
  • 1GByte DDR3 at 800MHz
  • Gigabit Ethernet, SPDIF (optical audio), eSata 3Gbps, 2x USB 2.0, micro-SD, micro-USB (console)
  • Standard Infra-red receiver for 38KHz based IR controllers.
  • HDMI-CEC support (use your existing TV remote)

 

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GeeXboX 2.0 has landed …

After countless years of development, the 2.0 release of GeeXboX (codename “Love It or Shove It”) finally has landed. The GeeXboX project was created in December 2002, 9 years ago, to become the major HTPC / MediaCenter dedicated Linux distribution. From a ridiculous 3 MB ISO image, using an ultra-simple customized version of MPlayer OSD, GeeXboX now has evolved into a much more mature system. Our objective always has been to provide you with a Linux distribution, so easy to use, that anyone, regardless of any computer skill, would be able to make use of it.

Over the years, the project has evolved to always provide more features and bring support to more and more hardware devices, which we managed to do, at some cost. The architecture that has been originally designed, with the whole UI being MPlayer’s OSD, prevented us from easily adding major features and the look&feel started to look deprecated within the years. We’ve then been struggling for months and years to design this v2.0 version, switching from one Media Center project to another (or even creating our own), using MPUI, Freevo and then Enna, to finally stick with the most powerful one, the reference: XBMC. Our team always has been too small numbered and managing a distribution takes resources. We had no other choice but to understand that we just can’t compete, so let’s just integrate the best components to make one nice product.

So here we are now, and we’re here for good. This new GeeXboX 2.0 release is the accomplishment of hours, days, months of efforts from a lot of people. It is radically different from the 1.x series and, sorry to disappoint some of you, will not provide the same level of services. We are now doing much more things than we used to do with 1.x but unfortunately, a few things have to be left over. But GeeXboX philosophy remains the same and we still aim at targeting the most PCs and devices as possible, in an as lightweight as possible way. The ISO image of “GeeXboX for PC” edition now hits 72 MB, much bigger than it used to be, sure, but still probably one of the lightest distributions you may have seen. GeeXboX now also support many embedded devices running ARM SoCs (such as TI OMAP4 Pandaboard and nVidia Tegra 2) and many much more will be added in the months to come. These devices just make the perfect fanless, energy-efficient HTPC and GeeXboX just make the perfect MediaCenter distribution for those.

But enough with the speech and let’s see what’s behind the hood:

Supported Architectures:

  • x86 32 and 64 bits PCs
  • ARM TI OMAP4 Pandaboard
  • ARM nVidia Tegra2 Harmony

System:

  • Linux Kernel v2.6.38.8.
  • Systemd v29.
  • BusyBox v1.19.2
  • Connman Network Manager v0.76.
  • Xorg Server v1.10.3.
  • Mesa v7.11.
  • OPKG Package Manager v0.18
  • USB persistent user data storage.

Audio Drivers:

  • ALSA v1.0.24.1.
  • Support for Analog, SPDIF and HDMI output devices.

Video Drivers:

  • Support for Intel, nVidia, ATI, Matrox and VIA GPUs.
  • Support for CRT, LCD and HDMI output devices.
  • OpenGL and OpenGL|ES hardware assisted graphics acceleration.
  • VDPAU, VA-API and Crystal HD hardware assisted video decoding for nVidia, Intel and Broadcom GPUs.

Input:

  • Mouse and Synaptics touch pads.
  • HID Keyboards.
  • Remote Controls.

Networking Features:

  • NFS shares.
  • Samba auto-discovery.
  • UPnP / DLNA media discovery.
  • ZeroConf services announcements.
  • HTTP server.
  • FTP server

MediaCenter:

  • XBMC Media Center 10.1 “Dharma” frontend.
  • Movies and TV Shows, with subtitles support.
  • Music Collection
  • Pictures and Slideshows
  • CDDA, DVD and (unencrypted) Bluray support.
  • Media Database Support.
  • Internet MovieDB / TVDB metadata and covers grabbers.
  • Skins

Some features however have vanished. among them, one can note that support for DVB Digital TV cards has been removed (but will come back shortly), support for V4L Analog TV cards has been deprecated (this time dead once for all), GeeXboX unique ISO generator also has perished (not that useful anymore), as well as legacy HDD installation (which has been superseded Live USB support with persistent data storage).

GeeXboX for PCs still is provided as a directly burnable ISO image though it is much more common these days to use it as a Live USB distribution instead of a Live CD one. We extended this feature with a persistent user data storage capability that allows you to keep your configuration, media database, downloaded media covers, lyrics … among reboots. No configuration is needed and everything can be done quite easily through Unetbootin.

We’ve put a lot of hard work into this new GeeXboX release and we truly hope it’ll suits all of your geeky needs. Next steps are up to you: download it, put it on some USB key, reboot your PC and sit on your couch 🙂

Boxee Remote is now supported !!

Today’s last commit just brought complete support for Boxee remote control. While originally shipped with BoxeeBox, the remote control is available since a few months as a standalone device (for 39$ only on Amazon).

The Boxee Remote  comes as nice and shiny 2 faces remote control. Front face provides simple media controls (arrow keys, ok, play/pause, menu) while the back face features a full QWERTY keyboard. Support for this new remote control now provides you with the perfect input for your multimedia experience.

The remote is USB-HID compliant and seen as a regular keyboard, making it of course independent of Boxee front-end itself and, as such, is recognized on any front-end we support, being XBMC, MythTV, Freevo or Enna.


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GeeXboX Project Renewal Phase #1

For quite a long time, there used to be pretty much no news at all about the project status, with no major release coming out, ending up in either user frustration or disappointment. Beneath the surface, development never was discontinued at all but was more oriented over the OpenBricks framework, a generic embedded Linux build system which now sustains the GeeXboX project.

The good news is that the project went well and should soon be delivering its very first release, meaning we’ll be able to finally deliver a new major GeeXboX release. A lot of things have changed and we’ve been sponsored with a new web server, providing us more possible services.

As a result, the GeeXboX project is now able to run multiple HTPC frontends (including Enna, Freevo, MythTV, VDR, QtMediaHub, XBMC and Boxee). GeeXboX’s new default media center frontend now is the award winning XBMC project, that we’re very proud to integrate. We now provide support for the most up-to-date audio/video technologies with complete GPU hardware video decoding support on x86 desktop PCs. Support also has been extended to port GeeXboX on all new ARM-based SoC (e.g TI OMAP 3 & 4, nVidia Tegra2 …) as you can find on our platform compatibility matrix. As for regular PCs, the distribution still support LiveCD booting with improved support for USB-key boot, including persistent data storage (have a try at unetbootin for that). The whole thing comes with a packaging system so that upgrades will be much easier in the future.

That being said, the new release is not yet here but thanks to our new host, we’re able to provide you with pretty stable GeeXboX/XBMC development snapshots for all the major platforms we do support. Actually, as you may have seen, the whole web server has been upgraded to be faster and safer and the old un-maintained forum has been deprecated and replaced by a more integrated version (though forum’s history has been wiped out).

That’s all for today folks, and just remember to enjoy our brand new services: